PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

CONSERVATIVE PARTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’S "GRAVE CONCERN" ABOUT THE SAFETY OF MOHAMED NASHEED AND THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN THE MALDIVES

09 February 2012

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission today expressed grave concern over the political crisis in the Maldives.

Robert Buckland MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said:

“We are deeply concerned about the safety of Mohamed Nasheed and his supporters. In the Maldives, there has been a severe setback for democracy and human rights in the past three days.

“We urge the Maldivian Government to return to the path of democracy and human rights, to guarantee the safety, security and freedom of Mohamed Nasheed and his supporters. We also urge the Government to ensure that the MDP and other political parties and activists can engage in the political process free from fear and repression, and to hold new free and fair elections as soon as possible, which Mohamed Nasheed and his party can contest.

“We encourage the British Government, the European Union, the Commonwealth and the international community to do everything possible to support the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights in the Maldives, and to seek guarantees for the freedom and security of Mohamed Nasheed.

We note that Mohamed Nasheed has called for calm and we very much hope that his wise words will be heeded in the coming days”

The Conservative Party has had a long relationship with the MDP. In 2006, the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission visited Mohamed Nasheed when he was the leader of the opposition held under house arrest. The Commission’s report contributed to securing his release and encouraging the transition to democracy. The Conservative Party’s International Office then developed a relationship with the MDP, and in 2009 President Nasheed addressed the Conservative Party Conference.

Notes to Editors:

1. For a copy of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission report on the Maldives, June 2006, see http://www.conservativehumanrights.com/pdf/CPHRC_Maldives_Visit_Report.pdf

2. To see Mohamed Nasheed’s address to a Conservative Party Human Rights Commission fringe meeting, 2007, see http://www.conservativehumanrights.com/reports/conference_events/conference07.html

3.To see President Nasheed’s address to the Conservative Party Conference in 2009, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plIahNJBsy0